Damn, I was on the fence and thinking about holding off on this purchase... but after ten minutes of gameplay I was sold on the pre-order.
I agree- hopefully the game gets harder/bigger in the last half.
According to them it was being played on normal with an option to make it harder by going hard core. I love that option. Since death is permanent it makes it so much more painful losing a trained soldier.
Going to look for that PAX panel video and/or audio right now.